Welland History .ca

Historic EVENTS in and around Welland

OLD STAMFORD CHURCH NEAR CENTENARY OF EVENTFUL LIFE

By William Pitts in the Toronto Star Weekly

[The Welland Tribune and Telegraph, 20 May 1924]

             Follow North Main Street, Niagara Falls, out of the city for a distance of about three miles through the Township of Stamford, and you reach the junction of a great provincial highway with the old Portage Road. Along the latter thoroughfare commerce feebly flowed in the days of our grandfathers. Goods, mails, and sometimes settlers passed one another on their way to either Chippawa or Queenston. A few thousand miles away, George the Fourth, still lingered on the throne. In Upper Canada trees were falling; and in the clearings the beginnings of towns and cities could already be seen. Where the old “horse railway” once did duty, automobiles flash by, but a few old landmarks remain; and ninety-eight years old, St. John’s English Church, still bares its walls to the weather, and awaits its centenary as some humans do, not wonderingly, but as a matter of course.

             Through those old doors Sir Peregrine Maitland, family and friends entered weekly, for the aristocratic governor’s mansion was little more than a mile away. The interior of the little church has been redecorated, but the sturdy old pillars stand as ever, and look as if they might be good for many more eventful decades. A tablet commemorative of the death of a young clergyman in the forties of the last century is affixed to the chancel wall; and in the body of the little church is another recording the death of a soldier in the Great War. Thirty men from Saint John’s then saw service. The building is of stone covered latterly with concrete, and fronts on as typical an English “green” as one may see in Canada. In the churchyard are the graves of many who figured not merely in the Niagara Peninsula’s early days, but in Ontario life.

             The church has still a fair-sized congregation, made up of fruit growers and residents of Stamford village. The present incumbent is the Rev. Canon Charles Belt, who came there seven years ago. Its first priest was Rev. William Leeming, and it has numbered among its rectors, Canon Motherwell, the predecessor of Canon Belt and Rev. Charles Ingles, father of Archdeacon Ingles of Toronto. Preparations are already being made to celebrate its centenary in 1925.

OLD PAGE HOME BURNED DOWN

Building on Quaker Road Was Being Used as a School Room

[The Welland Tribune and Telegraph, 29 May 1924]

              Fire of unknown origin completely destroyed a brick building being temporarily used as a school in school section number 5, Thorold Township, Monday evening. The School Board’s loss is covered to the extent of $250.

             School accommodation being very limited in that section, the authorities leased the building, which is of brick and which stands near the usual school, from the Cataract Power Company. It was built by Alex Page, father of George Page of Welland and had been occupied for school purposes for the past three years.

             The teacher, Miss Baker, left as usual at four o’clock but returned about one hour later for a short time. Everything was in order when she again departed. An hour later the fire was discovered, the blaze apparently having commenced in the woodshed.

             Nothing was saved, the whole building being totally destroyed. The insurance amounted to $250.

             The trustees have made provisions to have Miss Baker’s room resume work on Monday in the school building. The provision is but temporary until the midsummer holidays.